This is one of my favorite projects, and I know you're going to like it too! I'm all about finding new ways to use what I have around the house. I'm not really a hoarder, but I hang on to a lot of things that I think might have potential - someday. This earring holder is a perfect example of turning forgotten items into something special.
For a long time I had the idea about making some sort of holder for all of the earrings that I have.using a picture frame. Writing an article for the Craftsy Blog about different ways that you can display your crochet work gave me a chance to do some experimenting. I tried wrapping string around cardboard and sliding it in a frame, but it didn't have the look I wanted. Eventually I stumbled across a piece of crochet lace. It actually is one of my early pieces of thread work that I had abandoned. A mistake in the border made it unusable for it's original purpose - a pillow top. But, when I held the lace together with one of the old frames I knew I was on to something. The glass was missing and the finish flaking off, but it had an undeniable charm.
It really was easy to put together. I found a piece of fabric (actually an old skirt) that matched the lace. I wrapped it around a piece of cardboard I cut to fit inside the frame. Then I stretched the lace over the fabric and laid it inside the frame. It fit nice and snuggly.
The front looked perfect, but the back was a big mess. No one will ever see it, but things like that really bother me! I secured everything with packing tape. Then I cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal box to cover the back. I used craft adhesive (a super strong epoxy like glue) to attach the cardboard to the frame. I clamped it all together and let it dry overnight.
Now I have a lovely place to display all of my earrings.
One of my favorite things about making jewelry is having pieces that match or complement pretty much everything in my wardrobe! My shabby chic lace holder now proudly sits on top of my bureau making all my earrings easy to see. Now the hard part is deciding what pair I want to wear!
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me!
Until next time friends,
Be Blessed and Stitch with Love!
Welcome to the Christmas season! Now that Thanksgiving (in the US) is only a few weeks away we are feeling it in earnest. In this (sometimes) overly politically correct world I often feel afraid to say the "C" word! Since I work with the public, I'm conditioned to say, "Happy Holidays" and "Enjoy the Season"! So boy am I excited to have the opportunity to shout it out loud in today's post about Edie Eckman's new book Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree. Rest assured you'll find projects that cross over and would be appropriate in any holiday home, but for the most part this one is about decking the halls for the big day - December 25!
What's inside: stockings, ornaments, garlands and more
Edie is one of my favorite designers. I've come to rely on her books for their bounty of information and consistent quality. This collection does not disappoint. Although there are only 18 patterns, they lend themselves to being made with different yarns in various colors for unlimited versions of the original. This is a pattern book - not a how to book, and while the lesser known stitches are clearly explained, a basic knowledge of crochet is needed.
The Hearth section features 9 unique stocking patterns. It is my experience that many crocheters underestimate their skill level and shy away from anything not labeled "beginner". The small size of these projects offers a great opportunity to be bold and try something new! The Peppermint Pinstripes Stocking has the look of complex colorwork and is actually made using just the single crochet and chain stitch! The Flame Stitch Stocking is intriguing and looks quite complicated, but according to the instructions it is, "easy to learn and works up in a snap!"
Here's a look at what I made:
I always like to try at least one pattern from a book I'm reviewing. This time I made a few! I started with one of the mini mittens from the Advent Garland. This is such a fun pattern. Mini mittens and stockings to count down the days to Christmas! I found it easy to follow and an excellent way to use bits and scraps of leftover yarn.
Next I made snowflakes. There are several to choose from. Some are made with thread and others with yarn. This is another example of the flexibility of the patterns. I love to make snowflakes and then stiffen them with glue. I use them as ornaments for the tree, to decorate gifts, or include them with cards. Charts are included with all of the snowflakes, as well as with many other patterns.
Finally I made the Small Angel Ornament. Although the pattern calls for 2 strands of extra fine merino held together I opted for thread. As you can see, she came out just fine. A wee bit smaller, but lovely just the same.
Are you ready for some Christmas Crochet?
I'm not sure how it happened, but right now I am working on three different socks using three different techniques! I've only ever made one pair of socks so this is the perfect opportunity to figure out which method I like the best, while (hopefully) adding a little flare to our feet.
First there is the worsted wool boot sock that I'm making for John. This is a basic 2x2 ribbed, top down construction with a short-row heel. I started these on 4 dpn's, but after watching this video decided to switch to 10 inch bamboo circular needles. The needles are stubby and take some getting used to. I like the smoothness of working on circulars and don't have to worry about the stitches sliding off the needles when I toss it in my bag "to go". I know I'll have to switch back to finish the toe, but I like it enough to think that I'll be starting the second one on the circs.
Next up is the Garden Variety Knit Sock. This has a ribbed ankle and seed stitch across the top of the foot. I'm using four US size 3 dpns. The yarn is Patons Stretch Sock in the very tasty Cherry Sour colorway. This is the first yarn that I actually bought specifically for a pair of socks. The reason I chose it is because of the fiber content. It is 41% Cotton, 39% Wool, 13% Nylon and 7% Elastic. As boring as my white cotton socks are, I wear them because they make my feet happy. So it was important to find something with cotton as the main ingredient (which is harder than I thought!). This seems perfect, and has the added bonus of built in elastic to help with fit and shaping. With the hardest part (the first few rounds) out of the way, I'm making quick progress on the dpns.
The final sock that I'm working on is a top down 3x1 rib. I'm following a Back to Basics pattern, but decided to give the two circular needle method a try. Thank goodness for YouTube, because that's where I found this video. The quality isn't top notch, but the instructions are and after watching a few times I was able to cast on and get past those tricky first few rounds. You might recognize the yarn. This is the hand dyed BFL that I won from Danielle (A Stash Addict) quite some time ago. I've actually started at least three different projects with it and for one reason or another I just can't make it stick. I'm hoping that this might finally be the one that works out. At this point I'd say using these two tiny circulars is my least favorite sock method. They are 16 inch US size 1. If I were using bigger needles I think that it would be different, but size one is pretty darn small especially paired with super fine yarn.
My husband (John) has been calling me a traitor. He tells me that I'm cheating on my first love and he doesn't understand what's happened. Have I thrown in the towel? Given up? Set aside my crochet hook forever?
Of course not!
The truth is that I suffer from crafting ADD. I love to start new projects, but before too long I get bored and want to move on to something else. Instead of seeing this as a bad thing I like to consider it an opportunity to feed my desire to learn.
So while it may be true that I've been spending more time with my needles, it's only a matter of time I'm sure and I'll be digging out my crochet WIPs.
Unfortunately, the down side of this is unless a project is small and relatively quick it takes me A VERY LONG TIME (years?) to finish.
I was wondering how the 68 stitches that I cast on to straight needles were going to morph into a square. It turns out that this is a really cool technique that those of you who have been knitting for a while probably are familiar with. It's surprisingly simple really. Evenly space decreases create triangles and by the time you've decreased down to a small number of stitches you just thread the tail through the stitches making a circle that actually becomes the center of your square. The magic of geometry!
Pretty nifty right? I'll admit that I'm much more taken with the technique than I am with the over all finished project. The beads look pretty, but given the clumsy tendencies of our family I can see a full cup getting set down on the edge and the whole thing toppling over. Not so pretty after all!
It turns out that it was really easy and I felt like I was better able to control the tension. Also, it seemed to flow with the rows of garter stitch that make up the top of the cowl.
Over all I'm really pleased with this technique. I know that I still have to work on my traditional bind off, and that eventually I'll learn to judge what things are going to look like when they come off the needles. But the sewn bind off is a great option, and I know that I'll be using it again!
I'm Robin and this is
Crochet Nirvana, where
laughter is essential,
learning is supported,
creativity is nurtured, and sharing is encouraged.
Thanks for stopping by,
I hope you
enjoy your visit!
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